Turning pro in 1998, Roger Federer is considered not only one of the best tennis players of all time, but one of the most successful sportsmen ever. Not surprisingly, since the beginning of his career, large companies have tried to secure his image for important sponsorship and communication projects.
Many of the great Roger's sponsorship contracts have had record durations or engagements, testifying to the great value not only of the sportsman, but also of the man outside the tennis court. Forbes indicates him this year for the first time as the highest paid sportsman in the world, thanks to a portfolio of sponsors of absolute excellence.
Feliciano Lopez recently spoke about how the Madrid Masters benefits greatly from Rafael Nadal's presence every year. Lopez also talked about his defeat to Nadal at the Paris Masters, which gave the 20-time Slam champion his 1000th win.
Feliciano Lopez happens to be the tournament director of one of the biggest events on the men' tour - the Madrid Masters. When asked if he was expecting Roger Federer at the tournament next year, he did not mince his words.
Lopez on the Mutua Madrid Masters
Speaking to Marca, Feliciano Lopez claimed that the moment Rafael Nadal won his 1000th match was very special. He also lamented the fact that there wasn't much of a crowd in the French capital to witness the moment.
"I was excited because playing against Rafa for me is always special and even more so now that I am 39 years old and I value this type of game more," said Lopez. "I keep pushing myself every day to play those games.
I was able to push him to the limit and I felt competitive against the number two in the world and possibly the best in history. That means a lot to me because it gives me the hope of continuing another year playing tennis.
And then there's the emotional side of being in your 1,000th win. It was a shame to play in an empty stadium. Going out to play against Rafael Nadal in an empty stadium is harder than against any other player because these matches are lived with great emotion, the stands are full, the atmosphere is brutal...Under the circumstances we had, I enjoyed it the most," Lopez added.
Lopez made it a point to mention the success of the 2019 edition of the Madrid Masters, claiming that the presence of the top players made it even more special. "Last year there were Rafa, Federer and Djokovic and it was spectacular.
Having all three of them is a dream for any tournament. Not even the 'Grand Slam' have had them in recent years. We having Rafa every year gives the tournament a special dimension. Let's not forget the player we have.
I don't know about Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer's plans," said the 39-year-old. "I do know Rafa's a bit because for him the clay season is very important. He is giving more importance to it in recent years, perhaps because he is getting older, because he selects the tournaments better. As director of the Mutua Madrid Open, if Rafael Nadal comes I will be happy with life," Lopez added.